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Officials: 26 pumps running in Miami to curb significant flooding

Flooded streets reported in Edgewater
Flooded streets reported in Edgewater 02:46

MIAMI - Nearly 36 hours of rain, with a few lulls in between, have turned parts of South Florida into a soggy mess.

"Every single time it rains it floods like this. I think the last time that building lost power for like four days," said Cassandra Henderson on leaving her apartment in Edgewater on Wednesday morning for work.

Cassandra said she had to wade through water up to her knees.

"I mean I have to wear rain boots, outside the cars can't even come. Usually, it floods right there (near the front door) to the end of my driveway," she said.

Flooding on NE 23rd Street near Biscayne Boulevard is nothing new for those who live in the area.

"This time, trust me, it didn't get that bad. The last time the water was up to here (indicating a much higher level)," said Elizabeth Martin.

Many said it's not just annoying but they've lost a lot because of the way their street floods. Some said they were unable to leave their homes due to the high water.

"Well you know, you can't, I've lost a car here a few years ago, my nephew lost a car," said Claudio Balestra.

The city said they have dozens of pumps working in areas prone to flooding and have placed temporary pumps in place too, but the rain is so heavy in some places it's hard to keep the water at bay.

The city of Miami says it has a total of 26 pumps that are now running and hopes they will curb significant flooding.

Spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said "We anticipated a lot of ramifications so we have a mitigation plan. The city has 14 permanent pumps working and  12 pumps."

She had some safety advice.

"We just encourage people if they see flood waters to stay away from flooded areas and we encourage drivers to stay away from flooded areas so their cars won't get stuck." 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said people should steer clear of flooded areas.

"It is never a good idea to walk or drive in flooded areas as the water may be deeper than it appears, hiding all kinds of hazards," said MDFR's Erika Benitez.

Those who live along the street want the city to do more.

"I live here because I have to, it's the place I can afford. If I could move I would," said one frustrated resident. "Miami is a modern city, this shouldn't happen. there's no way that all this flooding should happen. It's like a third world country at this point."

With more rain to come, however, there's nothing more these neighbors can do but brace for the same.

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